Top US firms are calling for temporary tax breaks to bring offshore profits into this country. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are among companies seeking what’s known as a repatriation holiday, asking Congress and the White House to drop the federal income tax rate on the money to 5.25% for a year; it currently stands at 35%. Corporations say it would mean a quick $1 trillion for the economy in what they’re touting as “the next stimulus,” the New York Times reports.
“For every billion dollars that we invest, that creates 15,000 to 20,000 jobs either directly or indirectly,” said one corporation head. But critics question where the money would go. When the Bush administration offered such a plan, 800 companies brought home $312 billion—but 92% of the cash simply went back to shareholders, and many of the companies actually laid off workers. The move “did not increase domestic investment, employment or research and development,” said a nonpartisan study. The Obama administration says it would only support the plan as part of larger corporate tax reform that doesn’t hurt US revenues. (Read more Apple stories.)